Will voters hold onto Biden’s prospects for America, or move in a different direction?


WASHINGTON (TBEN) — With his party’s control of Congress on the brink, President Joe Biden has traveled across the country this fall to turn the midterm elections into a choice between two visions for America. On Tuesday, voters will decide whether to stick with his vision or steer the country in a different direction.

Biden faces tough electoral challenges that will set the dynamics for the remainder of his first term. Presidents tend to see their party suffer major setbacks in their second year in office, plus Biden is saddled with a murky economic picture and the limits of his own popularity.

In the campaign’s closing sprint, Biden has tried to rely on a message promoting his achievements — many of which will take many years to really be felt — and warning of the fallout from a GOP takeover of Congress.

Biden has tried to express resolute optimism about holding Congress, saying on Friday that he feels “very good” about retaining majorities in the House and Senate. Advisers insist that voters still broadly support the president’s agenda, even if they’re not heading in the right direction for the country because of inflation, gas prices and the sour tone of political discourse.

A key question is whether voters will give Democrats more time to deliver on the promised advances — infrastructure projects ahead, drug prices promised to fall, climate change plans not fully enacted for years to come. Or will they go elsewhere in search of more immediate solutions to major economic concerns?

President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign rally for Pennsylvania Democratic governor nominee Josh Shapiro and Democratic Senate candidate Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022 in Philadelphia.

Patrick Semansky via The Bharat Express News

Biden’s advisers insist that the current political climate is very different from 2010, when Democratic candidates were crippled by the unpopularity of the Affordable Care Act, the Obama-era health law, and 63 seats in the House and six seats in the United States. lost the Senate.

“Whether you’re in Arizona or Nevada, or you’re in Pennsylvania, they all have Democratic elected officials communicating with their voters, talking about the things they’ve done for the American people built on President Biden’s vision. and what he’s accomplished,” Jen O’Malley Dillon, deputy White House chief of staff, said at a forum hosted by TBEN last week. “And that’s a significant difference from other midterm seasons.”

As a sign of how Biden hopes his agenda will come out on time, the health bill has survived dozens of GOP-led repeal attempts and is now widely popular with voters.

Cedric Richmond, the former Louisiana congressman and senior aide to Biden who is now a top adviser to the Democratic National Committee, said it was important for Biden in the final days of the campaign to bolster his performance with voters.

President Joe Biden adjusts his microphones as he speaks at Jones Elementary School on Nov. 5, 2022 in Joliet, Illinois.
President Joe Biden adjusts his microphones as he speaks at Jones Elementary School on Nov. 5, 2022 in Joliet, Illinois.

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Even when Biden says he’s trying to bring the country together, he’s also warning about what would happen if Republicans gain control of Capitol Hill.

“If we lose the House and the Senate, it’s going to be two terrible years,” he said Friday at a fundraiser outside Chicago.

He says Republicans want to cut back on Social Security and health care, reverse Democrats’ cost-cutting efforts on prescription drugs, and impose a national abortion ban. “The good news is I have a veto,” Biden said.

White House officials say that even if Biden hasn’t been on the scene personally in some of the most contentious states, he’s helped set Democrats there for success by delivering a message that reverberates across the country no matter where. he is campaigning.

Advisers say Biden has no ill will against controversial Democratic candidates in Arizona, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio and Georgia, who have tried to keep him at bay. After 50 years in public life, they say, Biden acknowledges that it is often beneficial for lawmakers to distinguish their own identity from their party’s leader.

Instead, Biden has raced for minor, yet equally competitive House races, where aides and candidates are thrilled with the president’s ability to boost local coverage.

In fact, first lady Jill Biden has been found to be even more in demand than Biden in some places. She campaigned Saturday in Arizona with Senator Mark Kelly and previously in New Hampshire with Senator Maggie Hassan, both in tight reelection races.

First Lady Jill Biden cheers with Democratic Senate candidate US Sen.  Mark Kelly (D-AZ) at a campaign event on November 5, 2022 in Tucson, Arizona.  Kelly is in an exciting race against Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters.
First Lady Jill Biden cheers with Democratic Senate candidate US Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) at a campaign event on November 5, 2022 in Tucson, Arizona. Kelly is in an exciting race against Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters.

Kevin Dietsch via Getty Images

Over the summer, Democrats seized on the Supreme Court’s quashing of Roe v. Wade in hopes of motivating women and the party’s key supporters. In recent weeks, he has emphasized his condemnation of “mega MAGA” Republicans — short for Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.

He has also broadened his efforts to contrast his agenda with that of the GOP to include what he sees as Republican threats to democracy. That was the thrust of a speech Wednesday near the Capitol, where he warned that some in the Republican Party are inciting political violence.

Republicans have focused on people’s economic concerns in recent days.

“Biden’s agenda has wreaked havoc on families trying to make ends meet,” Republican National Committee chairman Ronna McDaniel said Friday. “Lower real wages, higher taxes and spiraling inflation have made it harder for Americans to move forward. In a few days, voters will be sending a clear signal that they have had enough of the Democrats’ radical agenda.”

Some Democrats, already eager to blame for the election, were critical of Biden’s posts, arguing that he should have focused more on reassuring Americans about rising prices.

“I hope there are a few people in the White House watching,” Faiz Shakir, an adviser to Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., told MSNBC Wednesday hours before Biden’s address. “I hope they rewrite it and focus on the cost of living.”

Biden allies reject the argument, saying voters care about more than one issue. They say abortion and the prospect of candidates refusing the election is opening the door for some GOP voters to go with the Democrats.

Richmond, Biden’s former adviser, said the president is talking about the economy and what he’s doing to tackle inflation. “If a candidate can’t articulate that…that’s up to them.”